Sahelian Wetlands Site

© FAO/Bruno Portier


The Sahelian wetlands are sites of important economic, agricultural and pastoral activities. They are home to a rich biodiversity, including millions of migratory and resident waterbirds, some of which contribute to the food and income of communities in the region. Climate change, agricultural developments, water supply projects and intensive use of natural resources are threatening these wetlands. The resulting dramatic changes in habitats have a major impact on the waterbird populations in the Sahel, and the impacts of hunting have yet to be assessed. It is estimated that these waterbird populations may have declined by 40 percent between 1960 and 2000.

The RESOURCE Project "Strengthening Expertise in South Sahara on Birds and their Rational Use for Communities and their Environment" aims to improve the sustainable use of natural resources, particularly waterbirds, in the wetlands of Egypt, Mali, Senegal, Sudan and Chad. The activities, coordinated by FAO, are implemented by technical partners recognized for their expertise, in collaboration with national authorities and local wildlife institutions.


  • In January 2020, an estimated 2.7 million waterbirds visited the Bahrs Aouk et Salamat Ramsar site in southern Chad.   
  • The RESSOURCE Project is supporting efforts to prevent, monitor and combat invasive aquatic plants in the Senegal Delta, including a large-scale participatory Lotus eradication campaign.
  • The RESSOURCE Project supports communities in conserving wetlands and waterbirds though the production of flour from white water lilies in the Senegal River delta (watch video here).
  • During the winter of 2019–2020, nearly 140 000 waterbirds were counted in the Khor Abou Habil region in Sudan, and the RESSOURCE Project is supporting the designation of these wetlands as a Ramsar site.  
  • More than 2 000 interviews have been conducted since 2017, as part of the socioeconomic study on the importance of the waterbird value chains in the Nile Delta in Egypt. 
Map of the RESSOURCE activities in the Sahelian Wetlands
The boundaries and names shown and the designations used on this map do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever on the part of FAO concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or of its authorities, or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers and boundaries.





RESSOURCE Newsletter - Issue 9 (January to July 2022)

Les espèces végétales à caractère envahissant...(French)

Les oiseaux d’eau dans le delta du fleuve Sénégal

RESSOURCE Project Brochure

Innovative Solutions Needed for Wetlands in Crisis

© FAO/Bruno Portier

Counting for better conservation

© FAO/Bruno Portier